Revitalizing women’s history is the rock upon which we can develop a just and dignified future. But history can be so boring! What if all the wise, funny and notable women who have marked our lives from antiquity to modern times were to come alive? Author and actress Elaine Partnow has been making that happen at hundreds of venues all over the country for the last couple of decades. Noted for her classic book, The Quotable Woman, The First 5,000 Years, in its 6th edition and still in print after 35 years, Elaine began dreaming up a way to bring the wonderful women she was discovering in her research to life on the stage. Acting was, after all, her first passion: she’d trained for it, was highly experienced, and she loved doing it. And so it began.
On stage, she’ll don one hat for Bella Abzug (“We want a woman schlemiel to get promoted as quickly as a male schlemiel”), another for Eleanor Roosevelt (“If we want a free and peaceful world and see man grow to greater dignity as a human being, we can do it!), and yet another for Flo Kennedy (“Don’t agonize–Organize!”). But now she’s producing a web series in order to bring these fab women to a greater audience. Not everyone she does is famous, however–though they’re all amazing. Have you ever heard of Murasaki Shikibu? She was an 11th century writer and very likely the world’s first novelist. In Tales of Genji she wrote, “Discretion is rarely stronger than the desire to tell a good story. How about Juana Inez de la Cruz, a 16th century Mexican nun who was a poet and a scholar and renowned throughout Europe. Then there was Sara Winnemucca, a Native American who was probably the first woman of her people to speak in public; she was a translator, an educator and an activist.
All these women and more will be filmed as part of The Quotable Woman, the web series. What better way to celebrate Women’s History Month than by making the women in our history come alive? You can find out more about the women and the series at Elaine’s website, www.TheQuotableWoman.com